Let's start with some facts:
H. William DeWeese, in addition to the crimes for which he was convicted, was as complicit as anyone in Harrisburg in awarding taxpayer-funded bonuses as a reward for campaign volunteers. We know this, first of all, because of the way the legislative caucuses operate: no caucus money can be released without the authorization of the Leader. More importantly, we know this - and Tom Corbett, then attorney-general and gubernatorial candidate, knew in the fall of 2007 - because DeWeese turned over incriminating email (including the infamous "U R welcome" email) in which he explicitly acknowledged paying a bonus "for campaigning."
The cache of evidence was turned over as part of a "negotiation" between Corbett and DeWeese. The terms of the negotiation have never been revealed - and apparently no journalist in Harrisburg is the least bit curious about it. We know that DeWeese dropped the legal challenges he'd sworn to take all the way to the Supreme Court, which could have delayed Corbett's investigation of the caucus for years. We know that DeWeese quietly removed campaign fundraiser Kevin Sidella from the state payroll and began paying him, from campaign funds, the equivalent of his state salary.
We know DeWeese used a state-paid contractor for political work.
And we know that DeWeese never was charged in connection with any of the evidence turned over as part of the "negotiation."
Journalists never have asked DeWeese about the terms of the "negotiation," his reasons for dropping the legal challenges, or the circumstances of Sidella's sudden move from state payroll to campaign contractor.
Despite the fact that DeWeese spent months obstructing Corbett's investigation, in the aftermath of the "negotiation," DeWeese began claiming that he'd cooperated from the beginning. No journalist ever has pointed out the contradicition.
Although DeWeese steadfastly has maintained his innocence in the crimes for which Mike Veon was tried, he was excused from testifying at Veon's trial under the Fifth Amendment. If he's innocent, why did he plead the Fifth? That's a question we've never heard a Harrisburg journalist ask.
In response to a Tweet, Dennis Owens today asked us, What questions did you want asked? Here's a list:
- What were the terms of the 2007 negotiation with Corbett's office?
- What were the terms of the 2007 negotiation with Corbett's office? (We really want to know the answer to this one)
- Why did you drop your legal challenges to the investigation?
- How can you claim you cooperated with Corbett when you tried to block the investigation?
- Why did you move Kevin Sidella from state payroll to campaign funds just before firing other staffers, and why were you paying him the exact equivalent of his state salary?
- Why did you plead the Fifth during Veon's trial?
- Do you still consider Veon's indictment "one of the best days of [your] life?
- Have you found anyone to balance your checkbook and buy your condoms for you?
Add your own questions in the comments.